I am always complaining that no one in my home ever listens to me. Honestly, it's like I am an idiot or speaking another language. My older kids will look right at me when I am talking and come away with no comprehension of what I just said. Then when I ask why they didn't do the thing I asked them to, or why they didn't know what they needed to, they do one of two things. They pretend they heard me and just forgot, (Sometimes I think I may just ban the words "I forgot" from this household altogether) or they try to act like I never said it in the first place. But I know the truth. They just tune me out, certain, in the way of adolescents everywhere, that I couldn't possibly be saying anything worth listening to. And well, it's aggravating.
Today the little ones and I went grocery shopping to restock the house after our beach trip. When I returned home Brandon was home from high school and sitting on the couch watching TV. Clara was grouchy and Ben needed a nap. So I said,
"Brandon, please bring in the groceries. And then I need you to put them away. I need to feed Clara and get Ben down for his nap"
I then proceeded to do what I needed to and when I finally made it back to the kitchen to check on how Clara was doing on her lunch I noticed all the grocery bags melting on the counters. Brandon was back in front of the TV. Exasperated, I barked at him,
"Brandon! What are you doing? I asked you to put the groceries away! Weren't you listening to me?!"
To which he responded:
"I was listening. I heard you say 'Bring the groceries in from the car' and then I heard 'blah, blah, blah'."
Oh yes he did. He totally did.
And I think I liked it better when he at least pretended.
It is a testament to my inadequacies as a writer that I did not even attempt to convey the tone in which Brandon made his statement. It was a wry confession given in laughter, not spite. He was, in his typically humorous, and slightly callous, way admitting that he had tuned me out after the first sentence. I didn't laugh about it then, because I was irritated and really wanted contrition not humor. But this evening, when thinking back on it, I did find it funny. It was very much a retort The Man would have given me while confessing he wasn't listening. But I am still not quite comfortable having that dynamic with my son. Even my teenage son. Maybe especially my teenage son.
And I am sure my response was nothing witty. Just more barking about how much easier things would be for him if he would learn how to listen. Typical mom babble.
Heh. No wonder he tunes me out.